Fireplace warm socks

Winter tips to stay warm and keep energy costs low

Winter Energy Saving Tips

Your Typical Heating Distribution System

Heating is by far is one of our biggest energy expenses. On average 45% of your home’s energy use is from heating.

Turn your thermostat down by seven to ten degrees for about 8 hours a day for a traditional heating system. This can save you 10% on your annual energy bill, so about $83 a year.

  • Have a professional do a clean and tune-up and inspect your heating system once a year. This can save you up to an additional 10% or more on your heating costs and makes sure that your system is running safely and efficiently.
  • If you have forced air heat via ductwork, change the filter every 1-3 months.
  • If you have hot water or steam heat, check water levels. A boiler contractor can tell you how to add more water.
  • Clean the area around your heating system, that reduces the risk of fire and improves airflow.
  • Make sure heat can get into the room. Keep furniture and drapes from blocking radiators, baseboards, heating registers, and return vents. 

Curbing Wood and Pellet Heating Costs

Other Winter Tips:

  • Get a free energy audit via NYSERDA and get connected to incentives for insulation, air-sealing, and energy reduction measures. The “hat and boots of the home,” the attic and basement are usually the leakiest part of your home. For a mobile home that would be the underbelly.
  • The average home has the equivalent air leakage of 1 window open at all times or the size of a basketball.
  • Install a programmable or Smart thermostat. Use it to automatically control the heat and lower it when you are not home and overnight while you are sleeping.
  • Install a heat pump for clean heating and cooling, they run on electric, but use either the heat from the air or from the earth to heat and cool your home. They can be 2-5 times more energy efficient than a traditional oil, propane, or electric-resistance system. They are a healthy and safe alternative if you are getting tired of chopping wood or moving pellets. They are most efficient when you run them at a consistent temperature at all times, “Set it and forget it.” Here are simple tips for using your heat pump.

Additional Resources

  • Check out to learn more!
  • Connect with your local Energy Educator to set up a free energy audit and get other energy upgrades done.


Erica Herman (She/Her)
Smart Energy Choices Community Energy Advisor
607-535-7161 x3223

Last updated April 25, 2022